Farming on the Floodplain: The Archaeology of the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Center Runway (Runway 7L-25R) Reconstruction Project, Part 1: The Report

Editor(s): Lourdes Aguila

Year: 2007


Between December 2000 and June 2005 Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd. (ACS) of Tempe, Arizona, completed five field sessions of archaeological monitoring, testing/data recovery I, and data recovery II at the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Runway 7L-25R and Taxiways D-E (collectively referred to hereinafter as the Center Runway project). The first session monitored geotechnical boring and coring (Ryan 2001); the second through fourth seasons included additional monitoring plus archaeological testing/data recovery I and data recovery II within the Center Runway project area of potential effect (APE) (Boston et al. 2001; Boston et al. 2003); the fifth and last season comprised additional testing within Taxiways D-E (Aguila et al. 2005). ACS carried out these activities as a subcontractor to Kimley-Hom and Associates,NInc. (Kimley-Horn), who, under contract to the City of Phoenix (the City), designed the reconstruction of the Center Runway and Taxiway D-E at Sky Harbor. The design proposed modifications to the existing Runway 7L-25R; Taxiways D, E, F, R, S, and T; the West and East Recirculating Taxiways; and the existing utility infrastructure. In addition, two construction staging areas, two batch plants, and a borrow site were used by the contractor during the course of construction.

The entire airport is highly modified by grading, modern fill, paving, and building; thus, the ground surface offers few clues to what lies beneath. However, the airport is bounded by known historic and prehistoric archaeological sites, including Pueblo Salado to the immediate west and within the project APE (Greenwald and Ballagh 1996; Greenwald et al. 1996a, 1996b, 1996c; Greenwald et al. 1995), Dutch Canal Ruin to the northwest (Greenwald and Ciolek- Torrello 1988; Greenwald et al. 1994; Henderson 2000a, 2000b, 2003, 2004), and Pueblo Grande to the northeast (Bostwick 1993; Bostwick and Downum 1994; Downum and Bostwick 1993a, 1993b) (Figure 1.1). The documented presence of these sites led to the conclusion that additional cultural remains would lie beneath the Center Runway project APE (Archaeological Consulting Services 2001b). The fieldwork was guided by a plan of work for testing and data recovery (Archaeological Consulting Services 2001b; Boston et al. 2001) Excavations were conducted under the authority of Arizona Antiquities Act Project Specific Permit 2001-66ps issued by the Arizona State Museum (ASM). The plan of work was reviewed and approved by representatives of the City, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). Because the reconstruction project was still being designed (and therefore the precise project footprint was unknown) at the time that the work plan was reviewed and approved, these parties agreed that the specifics of the plan would remain fluid while staying within approved archaeological discovery and data recovery procedures. Accordingly, Kimley-Horn, ACS, and the City Archaeologist, Dr. Todd W. Bostwick, developed a process of continual consultation, memorandum reports, field visits, and review. A report describing the geotechnical coring and boring was submitted in May 2001 (Ryan 2001). Twenty memorandum reports were prepared and submitted during the initial testing/data recovery I phase, which occurred between April and October 2001. An interim report was prepared and submitted October 2001, after the second phase of fieldwork (Boston et al. 2001), which offered recommendations for additional monitoring, testing/data recovery I, and data recovery II at already-discovered features. These recommended activities were conducted during July and August 2002, and during January 2003.

Two preliminary reports were produced summarizing the results of the field work and outlining recommendations for further archaeological work at the Center Runway (7L- 25R) (Boston et al. 2001; Boston et al. 2003). A third preliminary report was prepared to summarize the findings of additional work at Taxiways D-E (Aguila et al. 2005). This final report presents information on all cultural resources and results of analyses from all phases of fieldwork.

Cite this Record

Farming on the Floodplain: The Archaeology of the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport Center Runway (Runway 7L-25R) Reconstruction Project, Part 1: The Report. Lourdes Aguila. Pueblo Grande Museum Anthropological Paper ,11. Phoenix, AZ: City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department. 2007 ( tDAR id: 398999) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8542QBM

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -112.037; min lat: 33.421 ; max long: -111.985; max lat: 33.437 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): City of Phoenix Archaeology Office

Contributor(s): Chad Badorek; Richard L. Boston; Michael Droz; Kristin L. Fangmeier; Deborah L. Ferguson; Andrea Gregory; Sarah Hanan; Thomas Jones; Bruce Phillips; Shirley Powell; John Rapp; Melanie Ryan; Francis Smiley; Glenn Stuart; Lee-Anna Walker; Maralee Wernz

Repository(s): Pueblo Grande Museum

Prepared By(s): Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd.

Submitted To(s): Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.; City of Phoenix, Aviation Department

Record Identifiers

PGM Project Number(s): 2001-10

Cultural Resources Report No.(s): 139


General Note: The curation of this report was supported by a Seed Grant from the Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University as part of the Digital Archive of Hohokam Archaeology (DAHA) Project.

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Contact(s): City of Phoenix Archaeology Office